October 30, 2009

Mobile Asphalt Recycler

A vehicle that both recycles and re-lays old asphalt for footpath resurfacing is being trialled by Dorset County Council.

Manufactured by RSL, the VEB Hot Asphalt Recycler is on loan from Cornwall Council as North Dorset trials it on two footpaths in the area.

The process works by skimming off existing layers of asphalt from the footpath and loading them into the machine’s hopper. Once a small amount of bitumen has been added, the asphalt is then heated up and re-laid on the pathway or as a patch on the road.

It is capable of producing up to 10 tonnes of recycled asphalt per hour.

Head of the Dorset Works Organisation - the county council’s in-house contracting division – Andrew Martin said: “These trials highlight our need to carry out more work using new techniques that could reduce costs and the impact we have on the environment.”

Other technology to repair potholes more efficiently than conventional methods called velocity patching is also being tested. It is thought that both machines would save the council money on construction materials and reduce transport and waste costs.

Tiffany Holland
29 Oct 2009
Source- http://www.mrw.co.uk/page.cfm/action=Archive/ArchiveID=10/EntryID=5988

October 29, 2009

Vitol Aquires

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Oct. 28 -- A division of Vitol Group agreed to acquire Petroplus Refining Antwerp and Petroplus Refining Antwerp Bitumen from Petroplus Holdings for $25 million.

The transaction price excludes the cost of the inventory. Closing, subject to regulatory approvals, is expected by yearend.

The Belgium refining assets include a bitumen processing plant with 875,000 tonnes/year capacity. Assets also include a 22,300 b/d gas oil hydrotreater, and tank storage.

Petroplus Holdings, a European independent refiner, currently owns and operates seven refineries having a combined throughput capacity of 864,000 b/d.

October 10, 2009

Road Works Inspection by Minister

ROGRESS at Joburg's construction sites and road works are on the agenda this month for the City's member of the mayoral committee for transport, Rehana Moosajee, and Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele.

Briefing the minister of transport, Sibusiso Ndebele Road works, which have become a feature of the highway network, are testing the patience of motorists who are driving more and more dangerously to get to their destinations as soon as possible, according to the South African National Road Agency Limited (Sanral).

But the road works are not in vain as roads are being widened. The Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP) would ensure that bottlenecks at interchanges were resolved, and freeway renovations would alleviate congestion, said Sanral.

In phase one of the project, 34 interchanges are being upgraded, including the Allandale, Atterbury, Gilloolys, Rivonia, William Nicol and Elands interchanges.

On 6 October, Moosajee, Ndebele, and Nazir Alli, the chief executive officer of Sanral, among others, were on a tour, focusing on transport. They visited the Aviation Training Academy in Kempton Park; the Gilloolys interchange, where construction workers are building a bridge to alleviate congestion; and Sanral's Network Management Centre, where roads are monitored and which sends help if there is an accident.

Freeway improvements
Effective commuter transport lies in providing different options, and those available in Gauteng include the GFIP, high occupancy vehicle lanes, the Gautrain, Metrorail and Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transit.

The aim of the GFIP was to create links between modes of transport to allow people to choose public transport or car-pooling, which would alleviate congestion on roads, Sanral said.

Freeways will be widened to at least four to six lanes in both directions in some sections. Phase one will result in 185 kilometres of the existing freeways being upgraded. Over the lifespan of the project, a further 376 kilometres of upgraded and newly constructed freeways have been planned.

Engineers are using state-of-the-art technology to ensure the longevity of the work done; a new bitumen-rubber overlay is being used to seal what was previously a concrete surface. "The bitumen-rubber sealing will prevent cracks in the concrete reflecting through future asphalt overlays," explained Alex van Niekerk, Sanral's GFIP project engineer.

"What is also important to mention is that the impact this construction is posing on the environment is being minimised by the use of recycled materials. The use of ‘rubber crumbs' from old tyres will make the bitumen surfacing more flexible."

For motorists this means the lifespan of road surfaces will be substantially extended. Apart from normal maintenance, no major work would be required for at least 10 years after road works were completed, said Van Niekerk.

Read more: http://www.joburg.org.za/content/view/4396/266/#ixzz0TWbp0fP6

October 8, 2009

Delayed repairs to cost more

The South African National Roads Agency needs more money to maintain roads, Parliament heard on Wednesday.

Sanral chief executive Nazi Alli told a briefing to the portfolio committee on transport that roads had to be maintained every five to seven years.

"The challenge is to make sure we do the maintenance at the time it is required and to make sure we have sufficient funds to do that.

"We need to recognise that there is a huge challenge we face as far as sufficient funding is concerned for roads."

Roads cost six times more to repair if maintenance is delayed by three to five years and 18 times more if left for five to eight years, Alli said.

Sanral received R5.842-billion from the Treasury and is projected to earn R354.9-million in income in 2009.

DA MP Stuart Farrow said during the briefing that Sanral had not received adequate funding over the years and this placed it at risk of not being able to maintain roads.

In 10 years Sanral will have moved from managing 7000km of road to 20 000km, by 2010.

"It has three times more roads than it had when it began, yet its budget is not keeping up with inflation," Farrow said.

"We have to support more funding for this agency. If we don't do that we will fall into trap of having un-maintained roads, which will cost us 18 times more if not maintained."

Farrow said the money was going to have to come out of toll roads where "there is some recovery coming off".

In many instances the roads around Gauteng are going to affect the poorest of the poor, he said.

"Where are the poor going to get money to pay toll fees?" Farrow asked.

The committee had to fight for extra funding from the Treasury as the funding of roads "has no relationship to the normal CPI index".

Farrow said the price of bitumen — one of the main ingredients in road construction — had gone up threefold, but this was not considered by the Treasury when it allocated budgets.

"So Treasury thinking that they can inflate budgets based on CPI has no relation to fact that bitumen prices have gone up threefold.

"We must go to Treasury and say that if you are going to give funding to Sanral it should be based on construction price adjustment figures, which are 20 or 30 base points higher than CPI."
Source - http://business.iafrica.com/iacnews/1970507.htm

October 7, 2009

Recycling of Roads

Telcon Ecoroad Resurfaces has launched a Rs 37 crore ($7.8 million) project in New Delhi to recover and re-use asphalt to make new roads.

The Delhi government tapped Telcon and the Central Road Research Institute for the 42-kilometer (26.1-mile) paving project, which is to be completed by June 2010.
In a typical resurfacing project, a layer of asphalt is deposited on the existing road. Telcon is using a road recycling technology out of Canada that heats and removes the top layer of asphalt.

The recovered asphalt is mixed with fresh bitumen and aggregate to increase its strength; however, it requires just one-third the aggregate and bitumen needed for new roads. Telcon said. The composition is then tested in the lab and on-site before being deposited on the road.

Telcon says the technology has the added benefit of fast drying time, as it can withstand traffic in a few hours. The road has a lifespan on five to seven years.

Telcon is a joint venture of the Tata Group, Japan's Hitachi Construction Machinery, India's IVRCL, and Japan's Green Arm.

It's not the first green transportation project for Delhi. In March, The Delhi Metro Rail installed a 5-kilowatt solar power system at its offices, a month after receiving confirmation from German carbon credit validation firm TUVNORD that it prevented 90,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide from being emitted through its regenerative braking system from 2004 to 2007 (see Delhi Metro continues green push with solar and Delhi Metro earns carbon credits for regenerative braking system).

Source- http://www.cleantech.com/news/5108/new-delhi-recycles-roads

October 3, 2009

Bitumen Valuation Methods

Fred Dunn recommended that the department of energy needs to review its bitumen valuation methodology. Dunn’s office noted in March 2009 that bitumen prices used by one of the Crown-agreement operators was less than half of that used by all other operators. A lower price could lead to fewer royalties returned to Albertans, an estimated impact of $100 million.

— Auditors noted that Alberta Health and Wellness did not have a “documented, integrated delivery plan” for its electronic health records systems. As of March 31, the department had spent about $615 million on building these systems. Dunn recommended the department work with Alberta Health Services to improve systems to be able to regularly report costs, timelines, progress and outcomes.

Alberta Health Services also needs to work on a system that manages capital projects to avoid cost overruns and missed deadlines, Dunn said, citing the Calgary southeast hospital and the Mazankowki Heart Institute as examples of projects that have seen multiple cost increases and delays.

Source- http://www.edmontonsun.com/news/alberta/2009/10/02/11260571.html